“One of the issues that concern patients who are going to undergo a cosmetic surgery intervention is the type of anesthesia they will receive and its possible risks.”
In the preoperative phase, a series of diagnostic tests are performed to determine the general condition of the patient. These tests are supervised by the anesthetist who will assist in the surgical intervention.
Anesthesia allows us to establish the optimal conditions to perform the surgery, providing a balance between the absence of pain, comfort and patient safety, as well as facilitating a rapid postoperative recovery. To achieve these objectives, a series of techniques are combined depending on the factors involved in each of the phases of the surgical intervention.
During the intervention, the anesthesiologist is in charge of controlling the heart rate, respiratory function and temperature of the patient, in addition to replenishing fluids and mineral salts that may be lost during the operation.
How many types of anesthesia are there?
Local anesthesia: It is the procedure by which only the area where the procedure will be performed is numbed, without altering the level of consciousness.
Sedation: The main purpose is to provide a balance between comfort and safety, keeping the patient calm and deeply relaxed and even asleep. It is appropriate for eyelid interventions (blepharoplasty), ears (otoplasty), small-size liposuction.
Regional anesthesia: It consists of the application of anesthetic drugs that block groups of nerves or an area of the spinal cord, with the aim of canceling the pain in a specific part of the body (both legs, lower abdominal area, one arm, etc.). In this type of anesthesia, the patient remains awake or under mild sedation, with no pain sensation, so that the person is calmer, more relaxed and sometimes asleep during the intervention. It is appropriate in medium or large liposuction, abdominal surgery (abdominoplasty) or thigh lift.
General anesthesia: Achieve a state of total unconsciousness, using a combination of gases that are inhaled and medications that are administered intravenously, producing a blockage of all pain sensations and muscle relaxation. It is appropriate in breast augmentation interventions, breast reduction, mastopexy, rhinoplasty, face and neck lifting.
“Another thing to keep in mind and that often creates confusion is that a local anesthesia is not better or worse than a general anesthesia, since an uncontrolled local anesthesia can be more dangerous than a general anesthesia.”
The choice of the type of anesthesia in cosmetic surgery is the result of a physical evaluation, the analysis of the type of surgery to be performed, duration of the intervention, complexity and structures to be approached or mobilized, and the indication of the anesthetist who, together With the surgeon, you will establish the safest and most appropriate procedure for each patient. There is no type of anesthesia better than another, there is adequate anesthesia for the health conditions of the person and the intervention to be performed. It is usual for the anesthesiologist to make a previous visit, a time that is opportune to discuss the different anesthesia modalities, their risks, their benefits, and together to be able to choose the best option.
What risks does anesthesia have?Currently, thanks to advances in this area of medicine, anesthesia in cosmetic surgery is a very safe and flexible procedure, which is why it adapts to the individual needs of patients. The anesthesiologist will take note of the health history, particularly those referring to cardiac, respiratory, renal, endocrine problems and previous surgical interventions. Allergies, usual medications, alcohol, tobacco.
What happens once the surgery is finished?The patients go to the Recovery Unit where they will be monitored for a few hours. The time in the Recovery Unit is variable, it will depend on factors such as the type of surgery, the type of anesthesia, the stability of the controls in the immediate postoperative period and the medical history. After this period, he is transferred to a hospitalization unit or is discharged, in the case of outpatient surgery.The most important thing that you know exactly what you want to achieve with the operation and transmit it to your surgeon.
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